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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a black belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©Can Sönmez

03 July 2008

03/07/2008 - BJJ (Advanced)

Class #160

Roger Gracie Academy (BJJ), Gustavo Dos Santos Pires, London, UK - 03/07/2008 - Advanced

Still no Christina, meaning I've not had a chance to go with my regular training partner all week. Most unusual, though on the plus side that does mean I get the chance to drill with some new people (though I'm not yet used to being proactive in grabbing a training partner, as I'm used to Christina being there, which removes the need to look for somebody).

Unlike yesterday, lots of technique tonight, and particularly useful as it was from one of my weakest positions, attacking the turtle. Like Jude's spider guard session, everything tonight began from the same grip. Your partner is turtled up, while you are on their side, one arm underneath their armpit, the other over the top of their arm (on the near side, I think). You then secure that position by clasping palm to palm.

The first technique was a choke from rear mount. Bring your far knee into the gap between their elbow and knee, digging it past if you need to. Your near leg hooks their foot, after which you then roll them onto you and get your hooks. Having reached rear mount, you're ready to apply a rear naked choke, as your arms are already in position due to your over-under grip.

If they block your far knee, you can instead try to wedge in your near knee. This results in a rather more complex reverse omoplata from rear mount (at least I think it is). With your far leg, pry out their near arm, then switch your legs and triangle their isolated limb.

Put your arm on the near side of their face, then roll over your far shoulder. Keep your arm by their face, as you'll be using that to keep them down once they land on their back. To complete the submission. raise up and forward until they tap from the shoulder lock.

Finally, you'll be trying something different again if they are able to block both your knees from shoving through. Change your arm grip, so that you feed their near collar to your near hand, grabbing their far sleeve with the same side arm. Bring your far knee close to their body, stepping over with your near leg. Roll them in the direction you just stepped over, then get your legs really high. Ideally, you want your same side leg on top of the arm which you're holding by the sleeve. That will enable you to significantly increase the force of your choke: squeeze to finish.

We then got the chance to do some specific sparring from that position, the person on top having the grip with the arms already. I was with Anthony, who I haven't rolled with in over a year (mainly because he's been in the US for much of that). Underneath, I tried to stay tight, keeping my arms in to block chokes, and seeing if I could grab his leg and spin to half guard. That worked once, but mostly I was clamming up until he eventually got to the back or side control. He also caught me in some kind of loop choke thingy, which I couldn't spin away from quickly enough to avoid.

On top, I felt a lot more mobile than I thought I would. That grip is very secure, much like the Tran side control. In fact, its so similar that several times as I felt myself losing the rear mount, I was able to jump my legs through and end up in side control rather than Anthony escaping. I wasn't able to get any kind of submission attempt, but I did find I could cling on fairly effectively due to the solidity of the hold around my partner's neck.

However, as soon as the spar finished, my body told me in no uncertain terms that my technique had been considerably less successful than I'd thought. My right bicep completely gave up on me, so either I was relying on my arms too much again, or that jump to side control twisted my arms in some awkward fashion I didn't notice until afterwards.

Either way, there was no way I was sparring after that. Initially I hoped I could just rest a bit and the arm would feel fine, but it stayed really sore for the rest of the class. Frustrating, but there was a lot really useful technique tonight, so only a minor irritation. Also meant I could have a long chat with a guy from New Zealand, Ryan, who was watching the advanced class having just had his intro. The diversity in RGA's membership is one of its biggest plus points, though you'd expect that from a club based in a city as cosmopolitan as London.

My arm should hopefully be ok again by next week, and serves as yet another reminder to remember I have these things called legs I should be using rather than just the arms.

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